About 50 Horses on Polish Farm of Danish Horse Breeder John Byrialsen Reported Starving & Removed
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
European newspapers reported Monday as many as 50 horses were starving on the Polish farm of Danish breeder John Byrialsen, an owner of the United States Olympic mount Calecto V.
The Danish newspaper BT reported that horses were starving and unable to stand, and a video on youtube sent to dressage-news.com shows horses in shocking condition.
It could not be independently verified that the property is owned by John Byrialsen, the owner of Viegaard Stud and Viegaard Sport Horses in Skals, Denmark. But local officials and veterinarians confirmed that it was.
John Byrialsen was in Poland on Monday to deal with the situation.
Late Monday night, he replied to requests for comment from dressage-news.com that he would discuss the situation on Tuesday.
The video is so shocking readers may not want to view it, but it can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dHUWqlpG6E.
The condition of the horses at the farm in Posadowo, Poland was first reported by Gazeta Poznan.
News reports said that the horses in Poland were seriously neglected, lacking the most basic care and, as seen on the video, clearly emaciated.
About 50 of the 300 horses on the farm have already been removed by authorities.
Veterinarian Thomas Jurkiewcz, who had attended to horses on the farm, took it upon himself to remove the most extremely emaciated and malnourished animals.
John Byrialsen has been a long time breeder of Danish Warmblood horses.
He is listed on the passport of Calecto V, a stallion that was competed at by Tina Konyot at both the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the 2012 Olympics for the United States.
Tina of Palm City, Florida has no business relationship with John Byrialsen or his Viergaard Stud and in recent years has sought to acquire full ownership of Calecto from Viergaard–the V after Calecto stands for Viergaard.
BT newspaper said the treatment of the horses at the Viergaard’s Polish farm “has caused consternation among other breeders in Poland.”
Vladimir Chmielnik from the local branch of an animal welfare organization questioned whether the four employees at the farm could properly care for the large number of hores.
The Horse Breeders Association of Wielkopolska said that John Byrialsen is not a member of the association so action cannot be taken against him.
“We can only look at what he does. I think it will be hard for him to restore his reputation in the industry,” association chairman Marek Zulawski was quoted.
According to Gazeta Poznan, John Byrialsen has been given a month to institute care to meet required standards at the farm in Poland.